How to Write the Haverford Supplement 2018-2019

Haverford is a liberal arts school eight miles from Downtown Philadelphia. The student body is small, only 1,318 students, and Haverford has become known for putting immense trust in them. All students commit to adhering to an honor code that comes with more freedom than most college kids could imagine. This tradition was started in 1897, and the Honor Code is re-approved each year by the student body themselves. Haverford dorms do not have RAs overseeing student behavior, and exams are un-proctored (yes, there is no teacher in the room making sure you don’t cheat). Don’t think about breaking the honor code, though. With great freedom comes great consequence.

The freedom Haverford offers has made it popular. Their acceptance rate for the class of 2022 was only 18.7%. The school’s thoughtfulness extends into the classroom, where 75% of classes have less than 20 students, and 89% have less than 30 students. This may not seem like a big deal, but remember that it’s not rare for science and math classes to swell into the hundreds at larger institutions.  

Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you think the environment at Haverford, including the framework of the Honor Code, would foster your continued intellectual growth? Please limit your response to 250 words.

We said they take the Honor Code seriously, and leading with this question is proof of it. However, this is really two questions that need to be addressed directly while weaving them into one cohesive answer in only 250 words. We know it sounds like a lot, but it’s completely doable.

First, actually read the Honor Code aka do your research. Yes, it’s long. It’s a few thousand words. Tough luck. If you’re applying to Haverford, you need to know what you are getting yourself into. While your reading it, highlight a few points that resonate with you.

For example, you may highlight: “We, as a Haverford community, strive to foster academic spaces that are inclusive for all students. We also recognize that the academic environment benefits from a willingness on the part of the community to lean into discomfort.”  

Second, you need to pick a topic or issue that says something about you and that you can talk about yourself through. This is to say, don’t just pick something that sounds fancy but that you don’t give a sh*t about. You also need to pick something that you can connect to the Honor Code.

For example, if you highlighted the section above and you are passionate about politics, you might talk about how a one-sided discussion is stagnant, but multi-sided debates can become heated. You may look forward to being in a community where diversity of thought, when respectfully presented, is appreciated because it will challenge you to think outside of yourself and your opinions.

That’s just an example, though, so come up with your own ideas for how to weave together the wonderful honor code and what makes your brain buzz!

Please tell us what motivated you to apply to Haverford and what excites you most as you imagine your Haverford experience. Please limit your response to 150 words.

This is the “Why us?” essay, and the first rule is that you will not talk about anything that you already mentioned in the first essay. Say what you are interested in majoring in, a few extracurriculars, and then really dial in on the culture. Bonus points if you mention how The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, or Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center could help you pursue your academic and professional goals. All three centers are at the top of their game, offering students with unique opportunities and even funding. By mentioning one of them, you show that you know more than the basics about Haverford and already value institutions that they hold dear.


If you read this post and have already clicked over to the Honor Code, you’re our type of kid. We help people like you get into great schools, so drop us a line!